Monica3800′s Weblog

This blog is tracking my Library 2.0 journey.

Reflections on LIS768

I really enjoyed this class. It’s easy to say that technology lessens the contact we have with one another, but I don’t necessarily think that’s the case now. I think that the more engaged people are with applications like Ning, IM’ing, Second Life, delicious, etc the more in touch we become. There are deep connections forged when people get together around a common interest. This class has taught me to consider what these L2 applications add to our lives rather than what they take away. Engaging kids in games that stretch their ability to think and process information is pretty powerful.

As an extension of that learning by doing, the lab time that we had in class was really important. I do like to learn theory as a way to place things in a broader perspective, but ultimately I’m a doer. This brings me to the most important thing I learned in class: mistakes are welcome. Everyone always parrots that “learn from your mistakes” blah, blah, blah. Very few places allow you to do that, however. I currently work in an environment that is so addicted to the culture of perfect that we spend most of our time trying to anticipate what will go wrong. I am very good at anticipating because of my work environment, but this class reminded me that while anticipation helps – mistakes are when we really learn. I really do feel a renewed sense of purpose as I take my last few classes and hope to move onto a library job. Good luck to all of you and I hope you make a lot of mistakes.

Tagging in the abstract

Before jumping into my paper abstract I have to share that monitoring my RSS feeds served me well in writing my paper. Michael had a post about the Dublin City Public Library new pageflakes portal on December 7 which I was able to use in making an assessment of how the library uses tagging with their del.icio.us feed. That was cool. Also, the new DCPL page is cool. Now, onto my abstract… 

My research paper for LIS768 explored the use of tagging in libraries. Tagging is a great library 2.0 technology that takes the user from passive to active in a few easy steps. I first researched what we know about tagging in general focusing on why tagging is appealing and who is currently doing it. Next, I reviewed the websites of six public and academic libraries currently making use of tagging. The trends seem to cluster in the following areas: using tagging as part of the catalog and/or website, making use of LibraryThing for Libraries, and using a social bookmarking tool to aggregate patron recommended resources. I also briefly touched on the tension between tagging, a flat classification system, and hierarchical controlled vocabularies like LCSH. Based on what I learned from my research I made recommendations for the future of tagging in libraries. Basically I think libraries should implement tagging in whatever ways they can. Librarians also need to use the information that they gather from tagging to assist them in collection development. Finally, it will be up to us to work with vendors to ensure that all of our technologies work together and that we are maintaining the privacy of our patrons.

I really liked writing this paper (ok, I’m still not quite done). The information just kept coming. I feel like I could start researching in two weeks and have tons of additional/different info. Stay warm, everyone!

Delish!

Pretty flowersI was not a del.icio.us user before this class. I am now completely and forever devoted to it. I have found it absolutely invaluable in collecting and organizing resources for my paper. I need organization in my life. I, however, find myself very frustrated by the folder system of organizing files and e-mails. I can only put these in one place? Are you kidding? I can barely decide what to have for dinner and you want me to figure out where to put this article for all time? Ack.

I get overwhelmed, I shove the link in some folder, and never see it again. Then I recall it vaguely, go hunting in my folders, but end up back online and do my search again. Thank you del.icio.us for delivering from my self imposed cycle of folder abuse. Here’s my link, take a look. It’s been a long road. And don’t even get me started on my list of favorites (now, bookmarks since I started using firefox) who knows what I saved there? I bet there’s some link that unlocks the secret of the universe.

So to sum up my reflection on using del.icio.us this semester: easy to use, tagging rocks, and so long useless folders electronically crammed to the breaking point with who knows what. I’m free….

Ning is fun!

We had a great time creating the Ning for our class project. Ning has some great applications for libraries. Specifically we used it first as a collaborative tool to determine the scope and purpose of our work and second we used it to create a library instruction tool. As with some of the other tools we have explored this semester, it’s critical that the Ning is kept current, fresh, and interesting for users or it’ll go on the trash heap of once good ideas that are now sad. You have to be sure to give your users value you also. The Ning can’t be just about pandering to your audience making a stab at relevance. That’s why we tried to mix educational videos with a couple fun ones and we populated the groups with some great resources. Ultimately we wanted our grad students to learn and be in an environment that was comfortable for them.

And as I said last night, if you use this to collaborate: set some ground rules, agree on its purpose, or whatever you need to do to make sure people will use the resource. There’s a lot of freedom with Ning, but you may want to harness it with your collaborative team. Another critical issue: use a word other then tool to describe Ning. I over-used the word in the previous paragraph and during the presentation last night. And, well, I ended up feeling like a …tool.

In researching our project, I found some resources that outline more of the reasons to explore using social networking in libraries for fun and education. I’ve included them here with annotations.

Annotated Resources List for Using Social Networking in Libraries

Jenkins, Henry, Katie Clinton, Ravi Purushotma, Alice J. Robison, and Margaret Weigel. “Confronting the Challenges of Participatory Culture: Media Education for the 21st Century.” (2006). 10 November 2007. http://digitallearning.macfound.org/atf/cf/%7B7E45C7E0-A3E0-4B89-AC9C-E807E1B0AE4E%7D/JENKINS_WHITE_PAPER.PDF. This paper provides good information on what goals libraries can set in the use of social networking to support of lifelong learning. It also provides insight on encouraging participation and overcoming barriers to participation.

OCLC. “Sharing, Privacy and Trust in our Networked World.” (2007). 16 November 2007. http://www.oclc.org/reports/pdfs/sharing.pdf. The sections especially useful to social networking in libraries are Section 5: Libraries and Social Networking and Section 6: Beyond the Numbers.

Stephens, Michael. Library Technology Reports 43:5 (September/October 2007). Academic Search Premier. Statewide Illinois Library Catalog. Dominican University Rebecca Crown Library, River Forest, IL. 10 November 2007. http://www.dom.edu/library/articles/a-z-list.html. The entire issue has great information, but especially pertinent to social networking in libraries are: Chapter 2: Tools from “Web 2.0 & Libraries: Best Practices for Social Networking” Revisited; Chapter 3: Technology Trends for a 2.0 World; Chapter 4: Social Networking Services; and Chapter8: Best Practices for Social Software in Libraries.

YouTube and the Writers’ Strike

Interesting. The writers are using YouTube to get their message across. This is a strike version of the Daily Show produced by the show’s writers on the streets of NY. This strike is all about Internet revenue and it’s interesting that they’re using the most widely available free service for video on the web to communicate. The number of communication vehicles available online has truly changed how we experience things.

Oh yeah, and it’s kind of fun. It’s not Jon Stewart, but it’ll do in a pinch.

You Tube Fun

I was never much of a You Tuber, except when I’d get things forwarded to me by others. After last week’s class I’ve really enjoyed learning more. As with the other tools that we’ve explored during class, I’m trying to apply it to how this could be used in a library. I loved the library-produced You Tubes we watched last week. I do wonder if it’s difficult to convince your director or board that the staff time spent is worth the ROI. It would be interesting to know how much exposure a library can attribute to their You Tube postings.

I stumbled across The Hub which is a site that uses You Tube as a platform for human rights media and action. For a library I love the idea of gathering sites like this and showing patrons how You Tube can be used for the greater good. I think it’s important to show, especially our younger patrons, that they should use YouTube for fun and creativity, but that there’s also more ways to use the technology.

Zombies in Plain English

I tagged this on delicious, but I really like it, so here it is again.

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